WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT A CHEAP AIRSOFT GUN

Let’s not kid ourselves here; airsoft can be a pretty expensive sport, the combination of gear that one is likely to acquire when getting into the hobby can quickly add up especially if a new player wants to look the part. But the largest cost for players by far also happens to be the most important and that is the cost of airsoft guns themselves. However not all guns are expensive, in fact there are plenty of cheap airsoft guns out there and if you want your own cheap airsoft gun you have come to the right place, so without any further ado and in no particular order, here are our best cheap airsoft guns of 2024.

HOW WE CHOSE THE BEST CHEAP AIRSOFT GUN

There are a number of important factors we considered when compiling our list of Best Cheap Airsoft Guns, these include:

FUN FACTOR– Airsoft is a hobby so airsoft guns must be able to generate joy. We look at recoil, sound, design, optional accessories, and overall awesomeness that make the gun interesting. Non-shooting models can also be fun, like a beautiful revolver with realistic ammo that you can load into a rotating cylinder. We rate each of our picks on how much pleasure you can derive from ownership.

REALISM – What makes Airsoft guns attractive for so many is that they replicate real guns. While many manufacturers try their best to recreate the details and feel of a real gun, some succeed while others fail horribly and end up with something more akin to a toy. We rate how real each of our top picks feels and looks.

PERFORMANCE – Power measured in feet-per-second (FPS), range and accuracy are the key metrics we use to determine the best airsoft gun. From there, we also prioritize airsoft guns with an adjustable hop-up and high-quality buckings to ensure that they give the consistency and accuracy you need. All FPS ratings are universally based on 0.2 gram BBs.

BUILD QUALITY – We look for good quality construction, materials and refinement not only in the external components but also internally. The fit tolerances, discernable wobbles and rattles, smoothness of operation, durability of components, etc are all considered.

VALUE – Affordabl airsoft guns that rank highly in all the above categories are prioritized over more expensive airsoft guns that offer the same, as "bang for your buck" is an important consideration for most airsoft players.  These criteria rates if you are getting more for your money compared to similar guns in the same class, meaning is it a good deal. For more information on how to determine the value of an airsoft gun, check out this article on what goes into the cost of an airsoft gun.

COLLECTABILITY – Sometimes an Airsoft gun stands out simply because it is unique either because it’s not produced by anyone else or holds enough of a cultural or collectable value to make you want to have a piece of history regardless of its utility. This criteria in particular rates whether the gun is a must-have for collectors. Some rare or limited edition Airsoft guns even appreciate in value in the secondary market and we rate their investment value where applicable.

CYMA METAL AKS74M AEG AIRSOFT RIFLE

FUN★★★
REALISM★★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★

Best value for money AK electric airsoft rifle hands down, with a proven Type 3 gearbox that rocks with the best of them. Rough around the edges and doesn't quite match the refinement of Tokyo Marui or LCT's external builds, but that's what real AK rifles are like. Ample upgrade parts available for maintenance and upgrades, CYMA AK's have come a long way and matured into one of the best AK rifles you can buy. If you're on a budget and aren't fussed about the details, and just want an AK that can deliver the basics, then you can't beat the price.

Pros

  • Budget price
  • Proven Type 3 gearbox
  • Full metal

Cons

  • Decent build quality but falls short of alternatives from Marui & LCT Basic functionality
  • Rough around the edges

ARMY ARMAMENT X SP SYSTEM 1911 GOVERNMENT GBB AIRSOFT PISTOL

FUN★★★
REALISM★★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

The Army Armament pistols have long been considered a great entry-level option for players looking for an inexpensive sidearm. The pistol is full metal and boasts great recoil impulses. Being patterned after 1911s, this particular version is modeled after the 1911A1 famously seen used by US servicemen during World War II.

Internally the pistol is robust and is designed to work under the rigors of green gas. As an added benefit, the pistol works with other magazines from Tokyo Marui and other TM Spec magazines.

This particular Army 1911 has been modified internally by SP System using T8 aftermarket parts, allowing this gun to be more gas efficient and accurate compared to the stock Army 1911, effectively making this a pre-upgraded gas airsoft pistol.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • T8 aftermarket parts ensures superior performance
  • Full metal externals

Cons

  • Not licensed by Colt
  • Lack of any accessories

LAMBDA DEFENSE GHM-9 GBB MACHINE PISTOL (LICENSED BY B&T)

FUN★★
REALISM★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

This fully licensed masterpiece, proudly endorsed by B&T, combines cutting-edge features with uncompromising quality. Equipped with a 31-round magazine, the GHM9-G ensures you have ample firepower to dominate the battlefield. Its lightweight design allows for swift and agile movements, granting you a tactical advantage over your opponents. The robust plastic receiver provides durability without sacrificing performance, making it a reliable companion in any airsoft skirmish. One of the standout features of the GHM9-G is its compatibility with a variety of G17 GBB magazines, including the popular VFC G17 & TM G17 gas magazines. This versatility allows you to choose the magazine that best suits your needs and preferences, ensuring seamless compatibility and exceptional performance.

Pros

  • The only GBB GHM9
  • Excellent rapid fire performance
  • Compatible with Marui and VFC type GBB Glock magazines

Cons

  • Polymer upper receiver is unrealistic, aluminum receiver sold separately

KJ WORKS 10 22 KC-02 CARBINE GBB AIRSOFT RIFLE 

FUN★★
REALISM★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

Best performance for the buck, the KC-02's semi-auto blowback system remains unbeaten after nearly two decades since its original launch. Designed by legendary Airsoft engineer Tanio Koba, the KC-02 offers crisp and stable blowback action in a compact, no-frills design, making this gun ripe for customization and upgrades to eye-watering power levels.

Pros

  • Super efficient gas system designed by legendary Tanio Koba
  • Uses by green gas & CO2 magazines
  • High upgrade potential
  • Small & versatile form factor

Cons

  • Light recoil
  • Non-tactical form factor based on 22 caliber real gun

ACTION ARMY AAP-01 ASSASSIN AIRSOFT PISTOL

FUN★★
REALISM
PERFORMANCE★★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

One of the best cheap airsoft pistols and based off the popular Ruger MK4 22LR pistol, this unique-looking handgun features fiber-optic sights, an adjustable hop-up and exceptional performance across a variety of tests and conditions. Action Army not only released a great pistol but along with it, they released a whole ecosystem of products that allowed you to customize it how you want. This in turn inspired many other manufacturers to do the same, making the AAP-01 a pistol with numerous possibilities. However, perhaps the most interesting thing about this model, though, is the fact that it is one of the few airsoft pistols on the market today that includes a selector switch that allows you to seamlessly switch between semi-auto and full-auto fire. Best of all, the Action Army AAP-01 Assassin Pistol costs less than $100 to own, making it one of the most affordable entries on our list.

Pros

  • Very affordable price
  • Full auto/semi-auto fire
  • Fiber optic sights
  • Growing list of aftermarket parts and conversion kits

Cons

  • Polymer construction
  • Modeled after a civilian firearm that was not designed for combat

ARES AMOEBA TACTICAL 'STRIKER' AST-01 SNIPER RIFLE

FUN★★
REALISM
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

A serious challenger to the Tokyo Marui VSR-10 that falls just short of the VSR-10's class-leading accuracy. But it makes up for that in heaps with modern tactical looks and solid build quality, and a portfolio of optional plug and play parts for easy customization. Also, consider the more compact Striker AST-02 and the even more compact AST-03.

Pros

  • A solid alternative to the Tokyo Marui VSR-10
  • Beautiful tactical design inspired by Magpul's design language
  • Based on the proven platform of the Striker AS01, AS02 and AS03.

Cons

  • Does not match the Marui VSR-10 in sheer number of upgrade options
  • Not as accurate as the class-leading VSR-10
  • Awkward grip position for small hands

SNOW WOLF THOMPSON M1A1 SMG AIRSOFT AEG RIFLE

FUN★★
REALISM★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★★
VALUE★★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

The Snow Wolf M1A1 Thompson is a 1 to 1 electric airsoft replica of the World War II veteran. Featuring a full metal body and Faux wood stock. Although the stock, grip and handguard are not real wood, it is of high quality polymer with texturing on it, so it does feel great to grip on to. The magazine is a 420 round hi-capacity magazine and it does come with a 2 point sling.

If you are looking to cosplay as a U.S. WWII servicemen or simply looking for a piece to hang on your wall, This would be an affordable option to do so. 

Pros

  • 1:1 replica of the real life Thompson submachine gun
  • Full metal body
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Faux wood polymer handguard and stock
  • Not as accurate as the class-leading VSR-10
  • Awkward grip position for small hands

CYMA 36C AIRSOFT AEG RIFLE

FUN★★
REALISM★★
PERFORMANCE★★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

The CYMA 36C is an airsoft replica of the G&K G36C rifle. Using a lightweight plastic construction, the gun is light and compact, with a foldable stock, the 36C could be folded for easier storage or for a more maneuverable package when skirmishing in CQB environments. The gun features ambidextrous controls, and a semi transparent magazine which can be monitored for the amount of rounds left. The magazine is also designed in a way where you could attached multiple magazines together, making it easier to reload.

Internally the gun features the famous AK type version 3 gearbox, which makes this gun to have great aftermarket support.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous controls
  • Excellent aftermarket support and accessories

Cons

  • Lightweight polymer construction

BO MANUFACTURE FABARM LICENSED STF12 11 INCH SHORT SPRING SHOTGUN

FUN★★
REALISM
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★
COLLECTABILITY★★

The BO Manufacture FABARM Licensed STF12 is a new 3 shots Shotgun licensed by FABARM SpA, Italy. The STF/12 is one of the most adaptable and customisable shotguns in its class. Thanks to unique high-end features, performances and a firmly modern look, this is the shotgun of choice for growing military, Law Enforcement and shooting sports enthusiasts worldwide. The Airsoft replica makes no difference and follows the same path to make it the new reference in 3 shots airsoft shotgun. Designed and developed from scratch by the BO Manufacture team, this replica offers pretty good accuracy and shooting consistency and a yet extremely compact design. It is made out of a high-density ABS materials matched to the anodized metal barrel. There are currently 3 versions of the Shotgun in both tan and black. There's the 18 inch Ressort Spring Shotgun, 11 inch Compact Spring Shotgun and the 11 inch Short Spring Shotgun.

Pros

  • Easy use, spring action requires no gas or batteries
  • Excellent modern ergonomics
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Limited aftermarket parts and upgrade potential

UMAREX BERETTA APX CO2 AIRSOFT PISTOL (6MM) - GREY (BY WINGUN)

FUN★★
REALISM★★
PERFORMANCE★★★
BUILD QUALITY★★★
VALUE★★★★
COLLECTABILITY

The Beretta APX pistol was intended to compete for a future service pistol with the US military to replace its ageing M9 (Beretta 92FS) pistols.

The APX pistol is a modular service-type handgun with polymer frame and removable grip panels available in different sizes. It uses Browning-type short recoil action with tilting barrel, and a striker-fired trigger system. In basic configuration, APX pistol has no manual safeties with an optional automated trigger safety and an ambidextrous manual safety lever.

This CO2 airsoft replica has an intense but snappy blowback with an adjustable hopup and an accessory rail with a realistic 15 round magazine capacity.

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Powerful blowback
  • Fully licensed markings from Beretta
  • Realistic full metal and polymer construction

Cons

  • Limited aftermarket parts and upgrade potential

GHK G5 GAS BLOW BACK RIFLE (GBBR)

FUN★★
REALISM
PERFORMANCE★★
BUILD QUALITY★★
VALUE★★★
COLLECTABILITY

The legendary GHK G5 was a watershed moment for GBBRs when it was first released, it proved the efficacy of the open bolt GBB design for rifles and showed its potential by demonstrating a hard enough kick to take airsoft immersion to new heights.

The G5 is incredibly slim and compact and as it is made of a solid ABS polymer it's also very light weighing in at just 2kg with the magazine inserted. This plastic construction also gives it some of the best recoil of any GBB in the market, in short, this is probably the closest you can come to firing a real gun in airsoft. Some say it looks incredibly like a Scorpion EVO, which is not available in the gas blowback version. So this is a sort of Scorpion EVO GBBR alternative.

Pros

  • Extremely light polymer construction
  • Powerful felt recoil
  • Excellent shooting performance

Cons

  • Limited aftermarket parts and upgrade potential
  • Plastic might be a turnoff for some users
  • Design isn't strictly based on a real firearm.